Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese, and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rizzuto Mobster Gunned Down In Montreal



In Montreal QC, Canada two men were shot to death including 66-year-old Rizzuto crime family leader Agostino Cuntrera as reported by The Gazette
Shots erupted at the corner of Du Creusot and Magloire Streets, outside a company owned by Agostino Cuntrera. * * * No suspect has been apprended, police said. Witnesses reported seeing a black Chevrolet Impala leaving the scene.
The identity of the second victim has not yet been identified.  Last month reputed consigliere Paola Renda apparently was kidnapped off the streets, and last December Nick Rizzuto Jr., the son of the crime family's imprisoned reputed boss Vito Rizzuto, was gunned down.  Meanwhile, Vito Rizzuto, serving a 10-year sentence at a federal penitentiary in Florence, CO following his 2007 racketeering conviction involving the 1981 murder of three Bonanno crime family capos in New York City, wants early release.

UPDATE:  Cuntrera's driver and bodyguard who also was killed in the shooting ambush has been identified as "convicted cocaine trafficker Liborio Sciascia," and police previously had warned Cuntrera of a threat against his life as reported by Peter Edwards and Andrew Chung for The Star:  "the aging mafioso responded by stockpiling weapons, purchasing an armoured car, and travelling with a bodyguard." Montreal police now are saying that the double murder "is linked to a turf war between two mafia families" as reported by CTV:
Some experts believe the incident is related to the Calabrian clan, a rival family of the Sicilians. "The Calabrians are from Ontario, and they want to take over the mafia in Montreal," said Andre Cedilot, a former La Presse reporter and organized crime specialist. "They want to take the power back to the Calabrians." * * * Cedilot believes the rivalry between the two families is only heating up. He says there will likely be more bloodshed in 2012 when Vito Rizutto is released from prison. 
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Bookie For The Mob: DA


A former baseball coach at a Brooklyn high school played ball with the mob -- helping to operate an illegal sports-betting operation for the Genovese crime family, authorities charged yesterday.
Gerald Bruzzese, who resigned last year as a volunteer coach at Xaverian Catholic HS in Bay Ridge, was among 16 suspects taken into custody after a two-year probe by the NYPD and Brooklyn District Attorney.
DA Charles Hynes refused to immediately release the indictment or information about specific allegations.
But The Post, which broke the story of the probe last February, reported that investigators believe that Bruzzese would walk off the field while wearing his uniform and collect bets from his customers -- some of whom turned out to be undercover cops.
BAD GAMBLE: Sports-betting suspects are transported to 
Central Booking in Brooklyn yesterday.
BAD GAMBLE: Sports-betting suspects are transported to Central Booking in Brooklyn yesterday.
 
 
The were no allegations that any of his players were brought into the scheme.
Bruzzese and the other 15 suspects were cuffed at 6 a.m. yesterday.
They're accused of helping to run five separate betting operations for the Genovese and Gambino families that netted a total of $20 million annually.
Prosecutors said Bruzzese's chief project was nysportswager.com, an illegal Web site.
The site, they said, raked in $17 million in two years.
He's also accused of being part of a loan-sharking ring that charged a whopping 156 percent interest rate.
Bruzzese's lawyer insisted that authorities threw her client, a father of four, a curveball.
He's just a "low-level subagent facing probation," said the lawyer, Marianne Bertuna.
At Bruzzese's arraignment on charges of conspiracy, promoting gambling and possessing gambling records, Justice John Walsh set bail at $30,000 after Bertuna cited his "deep roots in the community."
Prosecutors had sought $100,000.
Dennis Canale, 67, the head baseball coach at Xaverian who hired Bruzzese, was probed in the multimillion-dollar scams but was not indicted.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gambino And Genovese Family Members Indicted In Sports Gambling Takedown


New York City Police patchImage via Wikipedia
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Monday announced “Operation Bettor Days.” Prosecutors and police said that they have successfully taken down five illegal sports-gambling rings, which took bets totaling roughly $20 million annually.
“As I’ve said before, illegal sports gambling is a cash cow for organized crime, and this case shines a bright light on the connection between the two,” said District Attorney Hynes.
The investigation began with one target, but grew into a major case against five separate rings and has resulted in 17 arrests to date.
“Anyone who insists that illegal gambling is a victimless crime need only consider, as in this case, the ubiquitous presence of organized crime,” said Commissioner Kelly. “Illegal gambling profits are the fuel that helps to keep a host of criminal activities running.”
The first indictment charges six members and associates of the Gambino crime family’s “18th Avenue Crew,” with taking wagers through a sports betting website, Touchdown Bets.com. An analysis of betting receipts shows the crew’s business was valued at more than $5 million, prosecutors claim.
Reputed Gambino family soldier Pietro “Tall Pete” Inzerillo, 43, is charged with running the operation, with fellow reputed Gambino soldier Joseph Lanni, 39, serving as his deputy. According to the indictment, Inzerillo gained control of a block of betting accounts associated with the website TouchdownBets.com, which Lanni managed and delegated to lower-level members of the conspiracy, including alleged Gambino associates John Gallo, Anthony Parrelli and Pasquale Parrellli, who are charged with running sports gambling, loan-sharking and extortion operations. The indictment also charges that Parrelli supervised sports betting and extortion activities of other, lower-level members of the crew, including defendant Gambino associate Fabio Grippi.
The second indictment charges Genovese crime family associate Alfredo Correa and two alleged accomplices, Gerard Bruzzese and Pasquale Parrelli, with arranging illegal bets through the website nysportswager.com. Their alleged criminal enterprise took in more than $17 million in bets over the course of the two-year investigation, prosecutors believe.
The indictment charges that Correa acted as a “Super Agent,” meaning he took bets directly from his own clients and supervised lower-level accomplices, such as Bruzzese, who served as an “agent,” and Parrelli, who acted as a “subagent,” managing a small clientele of bettors and reporting to Bruzzese. Parrelli was also responsible for collecting payments from losing bettors, according to the indictment.
In the third indictment, Gerard Bruzzese, Matthew Essel, Anthony Loporto, Carl Mormile, Pasquale Parrelli and Louis Tropia are charged with operating a sports betting ring, under Bruzzese’s leadership, that took bets by telephone and text message.
The fourth indictment charges Anthony Falco, Lewis Falco, Nicholas Falco, Gerard Bruzzese and Pasquale Parrelli with running another, unrelated sports gambling operation. The indictment charges that the crew accepted wagers through manual distribution of betting “tickets,” via telephone and text message, and on the gambling website Bet1010.com.
The members met weekly during the 2008 and 2009 football betting seasons to discuss the business they had done in the previous week, and used Bet1010.com to help maintain their records, according to the indictment. They are charged with taking in $1 million in bets over Bet1010.com and an additional $700,000 in paper betting tickets.
In the fifth indictment, Antonio Spagnolo, Gerard Bruzzese, and Pasquale Parrelli are charged with participating in a loan-sharking conspiracy, in which they allegedly loaned money at the usurious annual interest rate of 156 percent.
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More than 30 members of Lucchese crime family plead not guilty to N.J. racketeering, conspiracy



Thirty-two people, including two dozen from New Jersey, pleaded not guilty today to being part of an international gambling ring linked to the Lucchese crime family and accused of processing $2.2 billion in sports bets during a 15-month period.
Indicted May 14 in New Jersey in a 2007 probe dubbed "Operation Heat," the defendants include reputed mob leaders Joseph DiNapoli, 74, of Scarsdale, N.Y., and Matthew Madonna 74, of Selden, N.Y., who allegedly control the crime family from New York, as well as Ralph Perna, 64, of East Hanover and Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., 44, of Egg Harbor, who have overseen Lucchese operations in New Jersey.
Also charged is Martin Taccetta, 59, of East Hanover, a former New Jersey underboss for the family serving life in prison for a 1993 racketeering conviction, and 27 other "associates," authorities said.
The alleged gambling operation involved mostly sports bets, routed through a "wire room" in Costa Rica. The charges include racketeering, weapons possession, tax evasion, bribery, money laundering and conspiracy.
Of 35 defendants in the case, 32 were arraigned in Superior Court in Morristown today and entered not-guilty pleas. Plea offers, which have not yet been made, will occur by grouping defendants in tiers of top, middle and bottom, with the lower tiers getting the first plea offers, Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades told Judge Thomas Manahan.
Each defendant was provided with evidence against them, including thousands of pages of affidavits, wiretap orders, grand-jury minutes and search warrants. Forthcoming evidence will include videotape surveillance and wiretaps.
Other New Jersey defendants arraigned today were: Michael Maffucci, 24, of Cedar Grove; Perna’s sons, John Perna, 32, and Ralph M. Perna, 38, both of West Caldwell, and Joseph Perna, 40, and his wife, Roseanna Perna, 36, of Wyckoff; Michael Cetta, 43, and his wife, Vita Cetta, 41, of Wyckoff, John Mangrella, 67, of Clifton; Alfonso "Tic" Cataldo, 68, of Florham Park; Antonio "Curly" Russo, 73, of Bloomingdale; Gianni Iacovo, 34, of Elmwood Park; James "Beans" Furfaro Jr., 30, of Parsippany; John Turi, 31, of Clifton; Robert Romano, 31, of Brick; Shpetim "Tim" Hani, 33, of North Haledon; Blerim Ibraimi, 29, of Hawthorne; George Maiorano, 65, of Belleville; Samuel Juliano, 65, of Glen Ridge; Kristine Gilliam, 27, of Farmingdale; Edwin "Money" Spears, 36, of Neptune; and Michael "Mac" Bruinton, 46, of Ringoes, a former East Jersey State Prison corrections officer.
Also arraigned were Ron Scripps, 46, of Staten Island, N.Y.; Gary Medure, 56, of New York, N.Y.; Charles Bologna, 57, and Robert DeCrescenzo, 35, both of Port Chester, N.Y.; Elliot Porco, 47, of Bronx, N.Y.; and Michael Ramuno III, 36, of Philadelphia.
Three defendants did not appear in court today: Frank Cetta, 71, of Las Vegas, the subject of a bench warrant for his arrest; and two associates, Francine Hightower, who previously pleaded guilty, and Dwayne Spears, brother of Edwin, who is incarcerated in Pennsylvania, authorities said.
The probe also alleges a Lucchese-Bloods gang connection, as Edwin Spears is named as a "self-professed" gang leader. The Spears brothers are accused of working with former corrections officer Bruinton to smuggle heroin and cell phones into East Jersey State Prison in Woodbridge in a scheme financed by Joseph Perna and Michael Cetta.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/06/more_than_30_members_of_lucche.html

Former Xaverian baseball coach nabbed in mob betting ring


A former Xaverian High School baseball coach was cuffed today in a sweeping crackdown on mob-run sports betting rings that netted $20 million annually.




Gerard Bruzzese, 46, who volunteered as the Bay Ridge Catholic school’s freshman baseball coach, was allegedly a ringleader of nysportswager.com, an illegal site run by the Genovese crime family. The Web site raked in $17 million over the course of the two-year sting, prosecutors said.



Four other illegal gambling rings, some of which allowed tech-savvy mobsters to take bets online and by text message, were broken up using undercover cops and wiretapping, said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes yesterday. Sixteen mobsters were arrested in "Operation Bettor Days."







Bruzzese, who served as an "agent" with nysportswager.com, reported to Alfredo Correa, a Gambino associate arrested yesterday and known as "Dark Al," authorities said. Bruzzese faces up to 69 years in jail if convicted.



Dennis Canale, 67, Xaverian’s head coach who resigned last year and was also under investigation in the multimillion-dollar scheme, was not indicted today . Hynes decided to comment on the ongoing probe involving Canale.



But the massive sting also nabbed Pietro Inzerillo, 43, prosecutors’ biggest trophy. Inzerillo allegedly ran Touchdownbets.com, a $5 million enterprise controlled by the "18th Avenue crew" branch of the Gambinos.



Inzerillo, who reports directly to mob boss Giovanni Gambino, faces up to 237 years in prison if convicted.



High-profile mobster Joseph Lanni, 39, was also arrested in the Touchdownbets.com bust and faces up to 313 years if convicted.



"Organized crime depends on gambling," said Christopher Blank, executive director of assistant district attorneys. "If funds these organizations to get involved in legitimate business."



The indictments announced yesterday include a more traditional gambling ring that took bets by phone and text; Web site Bet1010.com, which made $1 million online and $700,000 from paper betting tickets; and a loan-sharking conspiracy that charged a whopping 156 percent interest rate.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/former_xaverian_baseball_coach_nabbed_nA8mZlDg23j4Fa3XNKBJnL#ixzz0sBLHTA8h

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vito Rizzuto Files For Early Release From Jail



Amid signs that the criminal organization he once led in Montreal is in serious trouble, reputed mob boss Vito Rizzuto has quietly filed for an appeal that, if successful, could see him be released from a U.S. penitentiary sometime this year.
Rizzuto, 64, is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Florence, Colorado. He received the prison term in 2007 after pleading guilty in a racketeering case, held in New York, involving the 1981 murders of three captains, or capos, in the Bonanno crime family in Brooklyn.
Under current federal sentencing laws, Rizzuto is eligible to be released on Oct. 6, 2012. But, in documents filed earlier this month to the United States Court of Appeals, Rizzuto argues his sentence should apply strictly to his actions in 1981, when inmates were released earlier for good behaviour.
In 1987, the U.S. government changed guidelines for federal sentences, increasing the time an inmate must spend behind bars to at least 85 per cent of a sentence from two-thirds. Under the previous guideline Rizzuto's release date would have been sometime this summer. Whichever guideline is right, Rizzuto would still be subject to three years of supervised release when he is returned to Canada.
In a document filed to the U.S. appeal court on Thursday, Rizzuto argues that he specifically pleaded guilty to what he did in 1981 and that he did not admit to being part of an ongoing racketeering conspiracy that the prosecution alleged ran from 1978 to 2004. Rizzuto's racketeering case was just one part of a broader investigation that targeted almost all members of the Bonanno crime family and produced several arrests in 2004. The prosecution alleged that Rizzuto was a soldier or associate in the New York-based organization which has had links to Montreal for decades.
Rizzuto's son Nick was murdered in Notre Dame de Grâce in December and his brother-in-law Paolo Renda remains a missing man after he was apparently abducted near his home on May 20. At the time he disappeared Renda was out on parole on a sentence he received in Project Colisée, a police investigation that devastated Rizzuto's organization with more than 80 arrests made in 2006.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Reputed+boss+Vito+Rizzuto+files+appeal+jail+early/3206338/story.html

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Youngest Son Of Joe Colombo Plans Reality Show



Christopher Colombo is finally getting a taste of "The Real World."
After serving a year in prison for running a lucrative gambling operation, the youngest son of the late mob boss Joseph Colombo says he's changing his ways and living on the up and up.
And he's shopping a reality show about his transformation.
"What I do is not acting. Laurence Olivier I am not," Colombo said as he looked over his 11-acre estate in upstate Orange County. "My thing isn't acting, it's humor. And my life is already made for TV."
Colombo has been preparing for his next act for more than five years - his every move recorded by producer Chris Gambale, whose father was a World War II buddy of Colombo's dad.
The plan is to pitch the show once Colombo finishes his 12 months of federally supervised release this month.
Tentatively called "An Honest Living," the show would detail how the 48-year-old Colombo moves from the high life of running a $200,000-a-week illegal betting operation to being a working stiff with a 9-to-5 legit job.
"The government tried to make it sound like I never held a real job. I did. Ran two construction companies, did restaurants," Colombo said.
"They were all connected in one way or another to what I call my 'monkey business,' the gambling ... which I gotta admit, [was the] greatest life in the world."
The show would feature him and his new entourage, including Elvis impersonator Sebastin D'Amico, who doubles as a nanny to his and his wife Suzanne's two kids, Catrina and Joseph.
D'Amico is also the hapless caretaker of the family's two miniature horses, goat, chickens, peacocks, cats and koi fish. The ever-expanding menagerie includes one standard-issue New York City pigeon, for the urban touch.
"He's no stool pigeon," Colombo noted dryly, as the goat stole the food bin from D'Amico and led him on a chase around the paddock. "How could this not be on TV?"
Colombo said he has plenty of experience being before the camera - and on tape.
He was in the government's crosshairs - first from then-state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and then the feds in the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office - for more than a decade.
All were convinced Colombo and his older brother, Mafia soldier Anthony Colombo, started a crew when dissension split the ranks after their father was shot.
Christopher Colombo - never accused of being a made man - was indicted with his brother and 17 others in 2004 on racketeering and loansharking charges.
Colombo said he was upfront from the start. He would admit to running a gambling operation, because he did, but said he never hurt anyone, never loansharked or extorted and said his gambling gig wasn't a mob enterprise.
A jury agreed: It convicted him on gambling in 2007 but acquitted him on loansharking, and hung on the rest.
Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, saying prosecutors never proved their claims that Colombo was a "danger to the community," sentenced him to a year and a day.
"She was fair," he said. "After all those years, she knew what the deal was."
He might have gotten straight probation, if it hadn't been for his earlier brush with Hollywood.
Colombo starred in a 31-minute HBO special in 2005 called "House Arrest," an inside look at how he spent his time awaiting trial.
The show - which chronicled Colombo's trips to a friend's strip club, dentist and favorite Chinese restaurant - infuriated prosecutors, who thought it mocked them and the law. Buchwald, though not pleased with the drama, refused to revoke his bail.
Colombo was free to leave his Washingtonville, N.Y., compound at 7 a.m. daily, but had to return by 9 p.m.
While Buchwald reminded Colombo she didn't care for the show, she told him she wasn't trying to cramp his acting career.
"If Hollywood wants him, that's fine," she said.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sonny Franzese Just A Poor Old Man: Lawyer


Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese — on trial in Brooklyn on federal charges he shook down two Manhattan strip clubs — is just another doddering old man, puttering around in a rust bucket Cadillac, collecting Social Security, his niece said today.
Jean Pinola told jurors that the 93-year-old Franzese came to live with her and her elderly parents in Farmingdale, Long Island, when his wife kicked him out. The only thing he ever paid for was the monthly phone bill, she said.
"He didn’t have money," she said except for a $530 monthly Social Security check.
Bank records submitted in court show that Franzese frequently bounced checks and his balance rarely rose above $1,500.
The nonagenarian mobster — famous for hobnobbing with Frank Sinatra and being the moneyman behind the porn classic "Deep Throat" — is charged with shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse clubs as well as a Long Island pizzeria.
Franzese moved in with Pinola after his wife kicked him out of the house when the feds busted him again.
"He had nowhere to go. That’s why my mom, my father and I agreed to take him in," she said.
But she admitted that she did not always keep close tabs on her aging uncle.
"Did you go to any strip clubs with your uncle?" U.S. Attorney Cristina Posa asked Pinola. "Did you ever go to the Hustler Club with your uncle?"
Pinola said that she had not.
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Reputed Gambino Associate Receives Additional Charges


When it rains, it pours.  Michael Scarpaci, a reputed Gambino associate who was indicted last April on racketeering and other charges, has been indicted in an unrelated case for his suspected role in a Staten Island, NY-based "securities fraud scheme that allegedly bilked unwitting investors of $20 million" as reported by Frank Donnelly for the Staten Island Advance.

Bonanno Capo Cops Plea On Loansharking Charge


A high-ranking Bonanno mobster pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court Monday to loansharking.
Reputed capo Joseph (Sammy) Sammartino admitted that he conspired with other wiseguys to collect a high-interest loan from a victim identified only as "Sal from Staten Island."
Sammartino, 55, of New Jersey, faces up to two years in prison when he is sentenced in October by Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis. Prosecutors say Sammartino is a member of the crime family's ruling panel.

Casting-call mobster wanted wrong kind of 'break'


Talk about bad actors.
An event for wannabe Mafia actors at an East Village eatery turned into a real-life shakedown when a thug allegedly threatened to break the owner's leg for not paying protection money.
The owner of Rue B, a bistro on Avenue B, yesterday told a Brooklyn federal jury hearing the extortion case against former Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese that in 2007 he regularly hosted "A Night Out With Vinny" -- where actors and casting directors could meet.
One night Franzese, who is accused of shaking down two strip clubs and a pizzeria but not the bistro, told owner Peter Dupre: "If anybody has a fight with you, they have a fight with me,' " Dupre recalled.
Peter Dupre, Owner of Rue B
Peter Dupre, Owner of Rue B
 
Soon after, Franzese's alleged muscle, Christopher Curanovic, 28, told him he owed $1,500 a week, an amount he got down to $500 a week.
When Dupre had trouble paying, Curanovic -- who is charged with extorting the bistro -- told him "he was happy to give me a beating, break my leg."
 
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Sonny Franzese Trial Update


The owner of East Village cocktail lounge Rue B testified Monday that a Mafia goon tried to jam a screwdriver through his hand in a violent mob shakedown.
Peter Dupre said he fended off the attack in his office by thug Christopher Curanovic, who was demanding $1,500 a week in protection money to be paid to alleged Colombo gangster John "Sonny" Franzese.
"He was trying to stab my hand into the top of my desk," Dupre testified at Franzese's racketeering trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. "I was very much resisting and pulling my hand away."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Posa showed the jury photographs of Dupre's desk with deep cuts in the wood from thrusts of the screwdriver.
Franzese, 93, is not charged with the Rue B extortion, but Curanovic and alleged crony Danny Celaj put the squeeze on the night spot after Franzese became a fixture there on Tuesday nights in 2007.
"I impassionately tried to explain to them that it was a tiny bar and restaurant and I simply couldn't pay that much," said Dupre, a former actor who appeared in the films "Annie Hall" and "Taxi Driver" and the soap opera "As The World Turns."
Curanovic settled for $500, but warned, Dupre testified, that if he didn't pay "he'd like nothing more than to beat the crap out of me."
Franzese was introduced to Rue B by actor Vinny Vella, who had small roles in "The Sopranos" and Martin Scorsese's "Casino."
Dupre said one night Franzese took him for a walk and told him, "You're with me now. ... If anyone has a fight with you, they have to fight with me."
Dupre said he didn't mind giving Franzese free food and drink, but wasn't happy when Curanovic began running up tabs with friends without paying, including a $545 bill for sliders and pesto eggplant.
After the screwdriver attack, Curanovic threatened Dupre's business partner with a large knife, Dupre testified. That's when he sought help from a cop he knew at the 9th Precinct. The FBI was called in. Surveillance equipment was installed in Dupre's office and recorded him making payments to Curanovic.
Meanwhile, Franzese's lawyer backed off calling mob associate Gaetano Fatato to testify after prosecutors said they would question him about Franzese seeking his help in murdering the gangster's own son, John Franzese Jr., after learning he was a informer.
The younger Franzese recorded hundreds of hours of conversations with his father and testified at the trial.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Department of Justics Reviews Basciano Death Penalty Case


Following requests by Judge Nicholas Garaufis and defense counsel, Department of Justice officials are reviewing the death penalty charges against Vincent Basciano. In  a letter dated June 2nd, Margaret Griffey, chief of the capital case unit at DOJ, said the department was reviewing the requests to squash the death-eligible counts. The decision will ultimately by made by Attorney General Eric Holder. Garaufis wrote earlier that the death penalty prosecution is a waste of time and money, given the fact that Basciano is already under a life sentence for an earlier conviction. The defense believes the death penalty is wrong to bring. Basciano faces a death count in his upcoming trial for the murder of Randolph Pizzolo, a Bonanno associate. The case is noted in "King of The Godfathers" trade paper back version in chapter 28.

http://tonydestefano.com/id3.html

Bernie Madoff Talks Of Stashed $9 Billion



Ponzi king Bernard Madoff is telling fellow jailbirds that he secretly funneled $9 billion in swiped funds to three people before he was nabbed, an inmate told The Post.
Madoff says that his partner in crime Frank DiPascali knows who the recipients are -- and that he suspects DiPascali is using that information to cut a better deal with the feds, according to the inmate at the medium-security prison in Butner, NC.
"I think it was personal friends," the inmate said of the recipients of the mega-bucks.
DiPascali, 52, pleaded guilty last year to 10 felonies in connection with helping Madoff swindle investors out of more than $60 billion at his Manhattan financial firm.
Madoff, 72, is serving a life sentence, but DiPascali has reportedly been trying to avoid that fate by cooperating with prosecutors -- who argued strenuously for his release from jail pending sentencing despite a judge's initial reluctance to grant bail.
DiPascali remains locked up awaiting sentencing, unable to post a $10 million bond.
DiPascali's lawyer, Marc Mukasey, did not return a call seeking comment.
The Manhattan US Attorney's Office, which is prosecuting DiPascali, and Madoff's lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, had no comment on the inmate's claim about DiPascali.
The inmate, who has witnessed the arch swindler's daily routine, also detailed how Madoff began attending sessions with a female prison psychiatrist last year after becoming depressed about a tell-all published in August by his former mistress, Sheryl Weinstein.
"He was having problems with his wife [Ruth]" over the book's revelations, the inmate said.
"He felt she might leave him."
The book, "Madoff's Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me, " details Weinstein's sexcapades with Madoff and how he screwed her out of her life savings.
The shrink prescribed Madoff antidepressants, the inmate said.
Ruth Madoff did not abandon him and still visits, the inmate said.
But Ruth, who has not been charged, has moved out of New York state to get away from the harsh public attention.
"She's bought a regular car," the inmate said. "She's looking to do charity work. She wants to have her own privacy and to start a new life."
The inmate said Madoff's sessions with the shrink and the medication have relieved his stress, which was so bad when he arrived at Butner last July that he broke out in hives and other skin maladies on his arms.
But that medication also caused a scare for Madoff on Dec. 18, when he was found on the floor with a gashed head and face, several broken ribs and his eyeglasses broken, the inmate said.
"He looked really bad, really bad," the inmate said. "The buzz was he got beat up by a bunch of [Washington,] DC, guys that were trying to extort money."
That "buzz" led to several media reports that Madoff had been attacked.
But the inmate said that, in fact, Madoff had collapsed in the middle of the night while getting water because an antidepressant drug he had begun taking earlier that day interacted badly with another medication.
"He didn't get beat up," the inmate said.
At Butner, Madoff is known for regularly hanging around with another notorious inmate -- Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel while working as a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy -- and former New York pharmacist John Mancini, who was locked up for illegally distributing millions of painkillers.
"Jonathan Pollard and him watch TV together. They watch CNN," the inmate said. "Bernie likes watching to see if there's anything about him on it."
But Madoff "gets upset" if he disagrees with how he is portrayed on television and was particularly disturbed by the reports that he had been assaulted, the inmate said.
Madoff also sometimes chats with Colombo crime-family boss Carmine Persico, who is serving a life sentence at Butner.
"They play boccie" and take walks together, the inmate said.
As with Persico and Pollard, Madoff is one of -- if not the most -- high-profile inmate at Butner.
"Everybody knows Bernie Madoff," the inmate said. "Everyone says, 'Hey, Bernie, how are you doing?' To a lot of inmates, he's a god.
"The higher the profile, the more they look up to you."
Despite such respect, Madoff, who used to work in the prison's library, now toils four days a week in a menial job in the commissary.
The inmate said the commissary work was "very strenuous" for Madoff.
Noting that some prisoners order 30 cans or more of soda that Madoff then has to deliver, the inmate said, "It's a lot for him to carry."
The fellow prisoner added that Madoff is being shunned by his two sons, Andrew and Mark, who worked for his firm and have not spoken to him since he confessed his scheme to them in December 2008.
"He's really hurt by their not coming around," the inmate said. "His sons never [talk] to him, never [write] to him."
But, the inmate added, "[Madoff] feels eventually -- eventually -- as time passes, he feels they're going to come around."
The inmate noted that Madoff has been able to write to his grandchildren, which gives him pleasure.
And, the inmate said, despite recent reports that Madoff has no sympathy for his victims, "he knows he did wrong.
"He also feels a lot of pain for what he did to people" and hopes they are able to recover at least some of the money he swindled from them, the inmate said.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/madoff_HD9ShMJK26jjNYTFSO7LpJ/0

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Collecting on loans was like 'Social Security payments' for aging mobster: turncoat


A mob turncoat spilled the beans today on his former employer -- saying the geriatric Colombo underboss on trial for racketeering loved collecting high interest on loans he doled out.
Guy Fatato, a former mobster-turned-informant, said Colombo crime family underboss John "Sonny" Franzese once collected a huge vig on a $30,000 gambling debt he had handed out.
"It's like Social Security for the mobster crowd [who make] these loans with high-interest payments," Fatato testified before a Brooklyn federal court jury.
Fatato wore a wire for the feds and caught Franzese making the outlandish boasts.
John
John "Sunny" Franzese at Brooklyn Federal Court.
 
Franzese, 93, was once a regular at the Copacabana nightclub, where he hobnobbed with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. He also had a stake in the classic porn film "Deep Throat."
Authorities say behind the scenes another informant recorded him bragging about rubbing out Mafia rivals and advising that the best way to dispose of body parts was to dry them out with a microwave and grind them up with a garbage disposal.
Franzese was convicted in 1967 in a bank robbery, sent to prison and paroled in the late 1970s. Though never convicted of another crime, authorities say he rose to second-in-command of the Colombos.
He also kept meeting with mob associates in public places -- a habit that violated his parole and landed him back in prison multiple times. Two years ago, he was arrested on the racketeering indictment and later freed on $1 million bail.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reputed Genovese capo charged in 1992 murder plot


A reputed acting captain in the Genovese crime family was arraigned this afternoon on a new indictment that ties him to the 1992 murder of a mobster's cousin.
Anthony "Tony D." Palumbo -- who was previously charged with racketeering and extortion -- is accused of conspiring to have Angelo Sangiuolo whacked for robbing Palumbo's gambling joints in the Bronx.
Sangiuolo -- whose rubout was allegedly sanctioned by then-Genovese boss Vincent "The Chin" Gigante -- was later lured to his death by his first cousin Angelo Prisco, a Genovese captain who was sentenced to life last year after triggerman John "Johnny Balls" Leto turned rat and testified against him.
Alleged Genovese Capo Anthony Palumbo.
Alleged Genovese Capo Anthony Palumbo.
 
The remaining suspected member of the hit team -- alleged getaway driver Paul "Doc" Gaccione -- was arrested in April and charged with murder.
The new Manhattan federal court indictment against Palumbo, who the feds say was named head of the Genovese family's New Jersey operations in 2006, alleges that he met with Leto and Gaccione after the killing "to thank them for murdering Angelo Sangiuolo."
The indictment also says that that in late 1992 or early 1993, Palumbo -- who had allegedly been involved in a plot to shake down Russian mobsters running a gasoline-tax scam -- conspired to murder an unidentified hitman who worked for the Russians.
The plan, which never came off, was to lure the hitman to a Bronx social club "where Palumbo would murder (him)," the indictment said.
Palumbo, who's free on bond, pleaded not guilty to the new indictment during a brief court appearance.
Outside court, defense lawyer Steven Frankel called the new charges more of the "same nonsense."

Mobster's rat son tried to make money off Oldfather alleged life of crime: defense


The turncoat son of a Mafia boss on trial in Brooklyn tried to spill the beans on his dad years before he turned star witness -- but nobody was buying his story.
In an 80-page, tell-all book proposal, John Franzese Jr., who yesterday finished testifying at his dad's federal racketeering trial, vented about the pain of growing up in the mob life.
Colombo crime family underboss John "Sonny" Franzese, who is on trial for allegedly shaking down two Manhattan strip joints and a Long Island pizzeria, chose the life of crime, but his son couldn't take it.
MOB SCENES: John Franzese Jr. huddled with a fellow addict 
writer, like Michael Imperioli's
MOB SCENES: John Franzese Jr. huddled with a fellow addict writer, like Michael Imperioli's "Soprano" hood.
Cristina Capobianco-Franzese, the estranged wife of Sonny Franzese, has read her son's manuscript, "The John Franzese Story -- Family, Crime, Drugs and Redemption."
"The FBI went to his baseball games," the Mafia mom said. "It's embarrassing. They used to carry my beach chair. What kind of life is that?"
Sonny Franzese was in jail until his son turned 9.
FBI agents were always in the bushes outside their Long Island house.
"It was 24/7 surveillance. Forty of my neighbors signed a petition against the agents for standing in front of their houses," Capobianco-Franzese said. "One of them turned sprinklers on them."
Franzese Jr., a lifelong drug addict who contracted HIV, testified yesterday that by 2002 he desperately needed cash and saw the possibility of getting some by writing about his and his dad's life in the mob.
Living in a California group home for men struggling with addiction, Franzese Jr. met a writer, Steve Anderson, who was also a drunk.
In a page right out of "The Sopranos," the two put their addled heads together and drafted a "treatment" that Franzese intended to shop around for a book deal, much like mob soldier Christopher Moltisanti did with a movie script in the HBO mob series.
"He made a lot of stuff up," Franzese Jr. said of Anderson in his testimony.
The mob scion also dabbled with the idea of becoming a consultant for a reality TV show about his family.
"It being Hollywood -- throw in the gangster garbage -- that's the marketing tool," he told jurors.

Monday, June 14, 2010

John Franzese Jr, mob turncoat who ratted out father, has revelation: 'I think I'm still married'


On the third day John Franzese Jr. testified against his gangster father, the mob rat had a revelation.
"I think I'm still married," he said.
The remembrance of things past came as defense lawyer Richard Lind pounded the witness for dumping his wife and step-son in California so he could enter the witness protection program after secretly wearing a wire against his father, reputed Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese.
Franzese Jr.'s wife Denyce told The Daily News that his vanishing act left her destitute - she lost their apartment and spent many nights sleeping in a car and on friends' couches.
"I did love her, and I still do," Franzese Jr. insisted in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Then he threw her under the boss.
The mob scion explained that he didn't take her into the witness program because "she had too severe of a drug problem."
"It was healthier that I left her for her own sake," he said.
The couple had met at an L.A. rehab center in 2001 and married in 2004.
Denyce Franzese said her husband's testimony is "one thousand percent untrue" and that she has been sober since 1987.
"I am a recovering alcoholic, I am not a drug addict and I have bever been," she said. "You know how lucky he is that I don't have the money to fly there (to Brooklyn)?"
Meanwhile more detailed records about Franzese Jr.'s expenses in the U.S. marshal's witness protection program were made public today.
Taxpayers have forked over $338,881 since 2006 for housing, subsistence, medical and travel expenses. More than $200,000 is in medical expenses for Franzese who has HIV from drug use. Last week Franzese Jr. acknowledged that he has received about $50,000 directly from the FBI.
Asked about $1,768 for documents, Franzese Jr. seemed puzzled. "Quite frankly I don't know," he said. "This is interesting to me."

Judge questions jurors on whether they witnessed Colombo mob boss fight


A federal judge asked jurors today in the mob trial of John "Sonny" Franzese whether they witnessed the heated fight that took place last week between the Colombo boss and his wife.
When four jurors raised their hands saying they they had seen the fracas that occurred outside the courtroom, the judge had a closed-door session with them.
The meeting lasted about 30 minutes. None of the jurors were booted from the trial.
Last week, Franzese got into an argument with his better half outside the courtroom where he's on trial for racketeering -- and she followed him right into the men's room.
John
John "Sonny" Franseze and John Franseze
Cristina Capobianco-Franzese hip-checked Franzese's daughter by a mistress and took control of his wheelchair.
She then wheeled him into the restroom at Brooklyn federal court -- all the while shouting and demanding that the 93-year-old gangster plead guilty to spare their son, John Franzese Jr., from testifying further against his father.
"You should plead guilty and leave him alone, let him get on with his life," Capobianco-Franzese, 75, shouted at her estranged husband after watching John Jr. take the stand for a second day.
At one point, Lorraine Scorsone, the old man's daughter, tried to intervene, but he bellowed: "Shut up, ya' son of a bitch."
Federal authorities intervened and slapped Capobianco-Franzese with a charge of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.

Mafia Plotted To Smear Kennedy Brothers


According to recently released FBI documents on the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the Mafia plotted to smear Bobby and Edward Kennedy by ensaring them into a compromising position involving crooner Frank Sinatra and bombshell Marilyn Monroe as reported by Alex Spillius for the Telegraph:
The intention was to work through "associates" of the two stars to lure the Kennedys, as well as Peter Lawford, their British actor brother-in-law and fellow member of Sinatra's "rat pack", into actions they would regret. Papers released in the US yesterday contained reports of a rumour from an informant suggesting elements of the mob wanted smear the men. * * * After looking into the claims, the FBI is said to have decided the information was not "solid" enough and no other mention of it appears. The plot is thought to have fizzled out, but it is consistent with other accounts of the extraordinary links between America's greatest political dynasty, the country's biggest stars and organised crime.
The Mafia traditionally employs orchestrated smear campaigns in order to silence or discredit its critics, and the alleged plot against the Kennedys certainly is consistent with its MO.

Ex-Con: Social Security Is A Ponzi Scheme


The Daily News takes a look at the tea party movement in New York City, and notes that one of the activists from Staten Island is Robert Dacunto who was arrested in June 2000 for his alleged role "in a $3.1 million Mafia stock scam" as reported by Doug Feiden:
Federal prosecutors said Dacunto, as a licensed broker, took bribes to tout stock in worthless companies. Gangsters in on the caper sold their insider shares when the value peaked, leaving the victims - many of them senior citizens - penniless. Prosecutors said he reported to a Genovese crime family associate and pocketed $112,000 in ill-gotten gains. He pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy in 2001.

Wife Claims Sonny Franzese's Son Destroyed His Family



Denyce Franzese knew her husband was a skunk, but she was shocked to discover he's a mob rat, too.
The California woman last saw John Franzese Jr. nearly four years ago, when he vanished from their home and devastated their family.
The ruined West Coast clan is now matched by his flesh and blood in New York, torn apart by his decision to take the stand last week against his dad - reputed Colombo underboss John (Sonny) Franzese Sr.
"When I heard he was testifying against his father, it made me sick," she said. "I absolutely feel terrible for Sonny."
John Jr., 50, has offered vague explanations for his decision to become an FBI informant against his 93-year-old father - a first in the annals of organized crime.
He claimed that flipping on the Colombos was intended to keep his dad out of jail. The longtime drug addict also said he was trying "to make up for what I had done in my life."
Denyce, also 50, says he's a stone liar - and a pure loser. "John is the son who 'couldn't,'" she said. "He was born with a crown on his head, He was the favorite, but his big brother [Michael] was the popular one and the good-looking one."
She continued: "John was never a gangster, he's a wanna-be. John is lazy, he doesn't want to work."
John's adult life is a series of cut-and-runs. He was spoiled rotten as a kid in Roslyn, L.I., spending wads of money on clothes and driving a new car every year.
While Michael Franzese became a made man in the Colombo family, rising to the rank of capo before quitting the mob life, John remained his father's errand boy.
His drug use made John untrustworthy among members of the crime family.
John abandoned Long Island in 2001 to seek help for his drug habit at Odessa, a Los Angeles rehab center where Denyce served as director.
They fell in love, and were married in 2004. After he split, Denyce - who once dated Marlon Brando's troubled son Christian - said she never heard a word about John until his appearance in Brooklyn Federal Court.
"He walked out on me Sept. 17, 2006, and never came back," she recounted. "It was like the old story where the guy goes out to get cigarettes.
"He left me destitute and he broke a little boy's heart," she said, referring to her then 12-year-old son by another marriage.
John may be a mob nobody, but he's his father's son. He once showed his wife a copy of the mob tome, "Murder Machine," stuffed with newspaper clippings about his father's legendary exploits.
Sonny, while never convicted of murder, was caught on tape bragging about multiple gangland killings and opining on the art of murder and body disposal.
"I can't personally say if [Sonny's] a murderer," Denyce said. "I know my father-in-law as 'Dad.' He told my son to call him Grandpa. To me, he's a big old teddy bear."
After John bolted, Denyce said she lost her apartment. She recalls spending many nights sleeping in her car or on friend's couches while her husband pocketed $50,000 from his FBI handler.
"I was a damn good wife," she said. "I would love to show up in that courtroom and say to him, 'Remember me?'"

 http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/the_mob/2010/06/14/2010-06-14_it_made_me_sick_when_he_testified_against_dad_nod_fathers_boy_a_nightmare_wife.html#ixzz0qpVG3KsP

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ex-Wife Hijacks Franzese Wheelchair



The cruel Colombo underboss whose name once made foes quake in fear had to plead with his angry wife Thursday to let him go to the bathroom.
The humiliating confrontation - which ended with his spurned spouse's arrest - started when she hijacked the 93-year-old John (Sonny) Franzese's wheelchair and rolled the Nod Father into the men's room at Brooklyn Federal Court.
"Son of a bitch!" a furious Franzese could be heard yelling at 75-year-old Cristina Capobianco-Franzese. "Let me go to the bathroom!"
Seconds later, she emerged from the rest room and began yelling at Lorraine Scorsone, her husband's daughter by a mistress.
"He should plead guilty and let my son live his life," she screamed as startled jurors were walking to a nearby elevator. "Give his kid a break and plead guilty. I want my son to have a break. It's the last child I have."
The mobster's wife was referring to their son, John Jr., who has spent two harrowing days testifying against his father - a made man who once boasted about grinding up enemies in a garbage disposal.
Federal marshals separated the two women, arrested Capobianco-Franzese and slapped her with a disorderly conduct summons.
The elder Franzese is one of the oldest Mafia bosses to ever go on trial. Authorities say he was a top leg breaker and money maker and once used his ill-gotten gains to fund the classic porn flick "Deep Throat."
Gangland slayings were his specialty. He was once caught telling a wired-up informant: "I killed a lot of guys. ... You're not talking about four, five, six, 10."
The family feud erupted after their 50-year-old son finished testifying and Scorsone was taking the geezer gangster - dubbed the Nod Father for his inability to stay awake in court - to the bathroom.
"Don't push me!" Scorsone yelled when Capobianco-Franzese elbowed her aside and took off for the bathroom.
When she got the Colombo coot inside, Capobianco-Franzese said, she urged him to plead guilty to shaking down Manhattan jiggle joints and a Long Island pizzeria for protection money so their son could get off the stand. The stubborn mobster clammed up.
Capobianco-Franzese erupted after her husband's lawyer, Richard Lind, forced her son to admit he received $50,000 in payments from the FBI to rat out his father and make secret incriminating tape recordings.
John Franzese Jr. confirmed his code name was "Annual Report." A reformed junkie, he also admitted on the stand he was diagnosed with HIV in 1990, before he became a federal informant who secretly taped his own father.
Lind fired more incendiary questions at the mobster's son, suggesting he was a wife-beater, a steroids dealer and a mental patient. But the most heated exchange occurred later in the day when Lind suggested Franzese could get whacked because his son is an informant.
The rat son decided to save himself by sacrificing his father, Lind charged, after the mob boss had vouched for him to become a "made" mobster.
"You know the consequences for someone who vouches for someone who vouches for a rat?" Lind asked.
"Yeah, they get killed," Franzese Jr. responded.
"I wasn't trying to kill my father!" John Jr. shot back.
 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Scott Rothstein Gets 50 Years


Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida, USA, which lie...Image via Wikipedia

Scott Rothstein, the politically connected Fort Lauderdale, FL attorney who pleaded guilty last January to running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme which involved using his firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler as a front to sell phony legal settlements to investors, was sentenced today to fifty years in prison as reported by Jay Weaver for The Miami Herald.  However, Rothstein still may receive a sentence reduction for his cooperation in an FBI sting which resulted in the arrest last March of Miami Beach, FL wine merchant Roberto Settineri who allegedly was an intermediary between the Gambino crime family and the Santa Maria de Gesu clan from the Sicilian Mafia.
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Franzese Gets Into Heated Fight With Wife Outside Courtroom


He's still a wiseguy after all these years.
Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese got into a heated fight with his wife outside the Brooklyn courtroom where he is currently on trial for racketeering -- and the war-of-words got ugly.
Cristina Capobianco Franzese, who has been separated from the mobster for the past two years, confronted her mobster hubby as he exited the courtroom at the end of today's testimony.
She followed the mobster into the men's bathroom -- and that's when the two started yelling at each other.
"He should plead guilty and give his son a break," she shouted at him.
FBI photo of John
FBI photo

"I never beat you. Your mother beat you," she added.
The fracas came hours after Franzese's son dropped a bombshell during his testimony inside a Brooklyn courtroom after admitting he has HIV -- with the defense arguing that the star witness turned on his aging dad because authorities agreed to help pay for his treatment.
Asked about how he got the deadly infection during cross-examination, former wiseguy John Franzese Jr. said, "I got HIV from using a needle."
That's when Richard Lind, the lawyer for the Colombo underboss, suggested that the gangster's son, 50-year-old John Franzese Jr., decided to rat on his dad only because authorities were paying for his HIV treatments.
Franzese Jr. admitted that the LA County Sheriff's Office were giving him $100 a week for expenses.
He said he moved to California in 2004 to straighten out his life after years as living as a junkie.
"I was walking around for three years untreated," Franzese Jr. said from the witness stand in Brooklyn federal court.
While his son testified, Franzese Sr. fiddled with his hearing aide and got up a few times to use the bathroom. Again, he appeared to nod off at times and had his head down for much of the trial.
This morning's testimony came a day after the 93-year-old mobster sat stoically while his son ratted him out for his life of crime.
Asked to finger his once-feared father in court, Franzese Jr. -- a former wiseguy-turned-FBI informant -- said only, "He's sitting there in the yellow shirt."
Father and son barely exchanged glances, but the elder Franzese pinched the fabric of his shirt, as if to question if he was the guy being called out by his son.
Franzese Jr. made history on Wednesday. No other big-time mobster's son had ever testified against his father.
Franzese Sr. is standing trial on charges of shaking down a pair of strip clubs and a pizzeria on Long Island.
The younger Franzese recalled becoming a Colombo bagman by 18, with all the trappings and riches that came from being connected to a powerful mobster.
But he testified that he eventually descended into drug addiction, and to turn his life around he decided to begin informing for the FBI.
"I wanted to change my life," Franzese Jr. said. "They would provide a means for me to change my life."
As a tape that Franzese Jr. made while wearing an FBI wire was played in court, his father appeared to doze off, prompting his lawyer to nudge him awake.
The tape recording, in which a Franzese cousin was heard predicting that John "Junior" Gotti would end up ratting out his father rather than sit in jail -- was made while the younger Franzese was the real family rat, wearing a wire to help capture his own dad.
The son's testimony horrified his brother, Michael Franzese, a former made member of the Colombo crime family who became a born-again Christian. He said the family is crushed by his brother's betrayal.
"I don't agree with anything he's doing," said Michael. "The family is taking it very hard."

Probe Nets 3 Crime Family Members


Three members of the same family have been charged as operatives of a multimillion-dollar organized crime-run sports betting operation that charged exorbitant interest rates on loans and extorted payments from gamblers and others, Rockland law enforcement authorities said today.
Authorities said during a news conference today that the 18-month investigation is continuing into the leaders and other members of the gambling ring.
During early morning raids at 11 locations Wednesday, authorities said officers seized $376,081 in cash, 18 weapons, $3 million in bank accounts, nine electronic slot machines, poker chips and computers.
The weapons included high-powered rifles with scopes, automatic handguns and a shotgun.
“These arrests represent the tip of the iceberg,” District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. “These illicit proceeds often fund other criminal activity, such as drug trafficking, prostitution, auto theft and insurance fraud. This investigation is just getting started and more arrests will be made.”
Arrested during Wednesday raids were Frank John Fea, 70, of New Jersey and his son and daughter-in-law, Alfred Joseph Fea, 44, and Tracey Kosierowski-Fea of Middletown in Orange County.
All three were charged with felony counts of first-degree criminal usury, fourth-degree money laundering, first-degree promoting gambling, first-degree possessing gambling records, and fourth-degree conspiracy. They also were charged with a misdemeanor count of fifth-degree conspiracy.
All three are accused of using a network of individuals and the Internet to handle multiple wagers each month that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly gross revenue.
The illegal bets were placed on a variety of professional sporting events, including Major League Baseball, NBA, NFL and NHL games.
The investigation kicked off 18 months ago with some information out of north Rockland, said Sheriff’s Capt. John Schnitker, who runs the Rockland Intelligence Center, the lead investigators.
Schnitker said the Feas are affiliated with the Genovese crime family operations in Rockland and the Lower Hudson Valley.
Alfred and Tracey Fea run a construction business in Rockland and were released on bail, defense attorney David Goldstein said. Alfred Fea grew up in Rockland.
Alfred Fea posted $25,000 bail, while his wife posted $5,000 bail.
Goldstein represented both Feas in the Clarkstown Justice Court arraignment, but will represent Alfred Fea. Goldstein said Alfred Fea has been arrested before but has not been arrested in more than a decade.
The elder Fea is being held as a fugitive from justice in Bergen County, N.J. He was arrested on possessing guns because of felony convictions.
On an organization chart, Frank Fea is described as an underboss in the gambling operation, with his son and daughter-in-line running a crew.
The spaces for the organization’s boss, second underboss and other hierarchy spots were left blank. Zugibe said investigators will be making additional arrests.
Frank Fea has a long association with organized crime gambling operations, going back to Genovese crime family kingpin Joseph Pagano, Rockland Sheriff James Kralik said.
Pagano ran the mob’s operation in Rockland from his home in Ramapo and neighboring counties.
His son, Daniel Pagano of Ramapo, has been described as a captain in the Genovese crime family and has served federal and state prison time for mob-related convictions.
Many of the weapons were seized from Frank Fea’s multimillion-dollar mansion in Upper Saddle River, N.J., Sheriff James Kralik said.
“He goes way back to the old days of Joe Pagano and his group,” Kralik said of Frank Fea. “He’s an old-time mobster.”

http://www.lohud.com/article/20100610/NEWS03/6100424/Rockland-organized-crime-probe-nets-3-family-members

Feds Drop Charges Against Former NJ Lucchese Underboss




U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman moved to dismiss the pending counts against Taccetta “because further prosecution of these charges is not in the interests of the United States at this time,” according to a court order.
U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler, who was to preside over Taccetta’s trial on July 6, signed the order Wednesday.
Taccetta, 59, of East Hanover, is already serving a state prison sentence of life plus 10 years. He was pleased with the turn of events, said his attorney, Maria Noto.
“We’re happy, of course. We always felt it was a weak case against Marty and that’s why were were going to trial,” Noto said Thursday.
Noto declined to speculate why the government sought a dismissal.
Taccetta was among 23 reputed members and associates of the Gambino and Lucchese mob families indicted on May 2, 2008 for what the FBI called a “veritable smorgasbord” of crime. All of the other defendants accepted plea deals and are awaiting sentencing.
The 30-count indictment targeted a Gambino crew led by Andrew Merola and outlined schemes to shake down a lunch truck vendor, put mobsters in no-show jobs, use union muscle to collect payoffs from contractors, and rake in millions of dollars in bets on sporting events and casino-style games over a website based overseas.
Taccetta, named in only three of the counts, was accused of conspiring to use extortion to collect a loan from an unidentified debtor. He also is charged with conspiring with Merola and others to demand and receive about $20,000 in unlawful payments to allow non-union labor on a construction project at a Morristown BMW dealership in 2007.
Merola, 42, of East Hanover, pleaded guilty in January to racketeering conspiracy charges and will be sentenced with the other defendants on Oct. 21.
Taccetta was convicted in 1993 on state racketeering and extortion charges, but acquitted of murder for the 1984 golf-club beating death of an Ocean County businessman. He served 12 years before a judge released him and ordered a new trial on grounds he had been misinformed by his lawyer on the impact of his plea agreement. Last July, the New Jersey Supreme Court overruled the lower court and reinstated his life sentence.
http://www.northjersey.com/news/061010_feds_drop_some_charges_against_imprisoned_reputed_former_crime_ubderboss.html

Legendary Colombo underboss Sonny Franzese's son has HIV and dad aims to use it against him



The son of Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese admitted Thursday he sold his father out for $50,000.
John Franzese also revealed on the stand that his FBI code name was "Annual Report" as his 93-year-old father watched intently from the defense table.
The racketeering trial of creaky Colombo underboss John "Sonny" Franzese unearthed a tragic family secret Thursday - his turncoat son has HIV.
And it quickly became clear that the 93-year-old gangster was ready to use that revelation about his son to save his own skin.
The once-fearsome gangster, who has repeatedly dozed off during the trial, was wide awake when his lawyer began cross-examining his son, John Jr.
A day earlier, Franzese's 50-year-old son took the stand and betrayed his dad by revealing that he shook down Manhattan jiggle joints for protection money.
So on Thursday, defense attorney Richard Lind went after John Jr.'s credibility by asking the reformed junky what kind of meds he takes for HIV.
John Jr. admitted he had been diagnosed with the dread disease back in 1990, before he became a federal informant who secretly taped his own father.
"When I got diagnosed, I ended up walking around the streets for 10 years not taking medication," he said.
Then Lind went for the jugular.
 He asked him about something John Jr. reportedly told his brother, Michael, while in California trying to kick his habit in the late 1990s.
"You told Michael Franzese you had unprotected sex with women?" said Lind.
Prosecutors, fearing the jury might dismiss the claims of a man who knowingly exposed women to HIV, immediately objected.
After a sidebar meeting with the judge, Franzese was told not to answer that question. But the idea that he might have infected other women had been raised - and the damage to his credibility was done.
Outside the courtroom, Michael Franzese, a 59-year-old preacher who has critized his brother for ratting on their dad, insisted John Jr. "didn't confide that in me."
"I think Mr. Lind got me confused with someone else," he said.
John Jr. is now married to a woman named Denise, whom he met in drug rehab back in California, Michael Franzese said.